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A gestural account of the velar fricative in Navajo

A gestural account of the velar fricative in Navajo Abstract Using the framework of Articulatory Phonology, we offer a phonological account of the allophonic variation undergone by the velar fricative phoneme in Navajo, a Southern or Apachean Athabaskan language spoken in Arizona and New Mexico. The Navajo velar fricative strongly co-articulates with the following vowel, varying in both place and manner of articulation. The variation in this velar fricative seems greater than the variation of velars in many well-studied languages. The coronal central fricatives in the inventory, in contrast, are quite phonetically stable. The back fricative of Navajo thus highlights 1) the linguistic use of an extreme form of coarticulation and 2) the mechanism by which languages can control coarticulation. It is argued that the task dynamic model underlying Articulatory Phonology, with the mechanism of gestural blending controlling coarticulation, can account for the multiplicity of linguistically-controlled ways in which velars coarticulate with surrounding vowels without requiring any changes of input specification due to context. The ability of phonological and morphological constraints to restrict the amount of coarticulation argues against strict separation of phonetics and phonology. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Laboratory Phonology de Gruyter

A gestural account of the velar fricative in Navajo

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 by the
ISSN
1868-6346
eISSN
1868-6354
DOI
10.1515/lp-2012-0011
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract Using the framework of Articulatory Phonology, we offer a phonological account of the allophonic variation undergone by the velar fricative phoneme in Navajo, a Southern or Apachean Athabaskan language spoken in Arizona and New Mexico. The Navajo velar fricative strongly co-articulates with the following vowel, varying in both place and manner of articulation. The variation in this velar fricative seems greater than the variation of velars in many well-studied languages. The coronal central fricatives in the inventory, in contrast, are quite phonetically stable. The back fricative of Navajo thus highlights 1) the linguistic use of an extreme form of coarticulation and 2) the mechanism by which languages can control coarticulation. It is argued that the task dynamic model underlying Articulatory Phonology, with the mechanism of gestural blending controlling coarticulation, can account for the multiplicity of linguistically-controlled ways in which velars coarticulate with surrounding vowels without requiring any changes of input specification due to context. The ability of phonological and morphological constraints to restrict the amount of coarticulation argues against strict separation of phonetics and phonology.

Journal

Laboratory Phonologyde Gruyter

Published: May 25, 2012

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